Sunday, July 21, 2024

Gambia’s First Immigrant Serving in the German Armed Forces Shines in the Spotlight

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By Dawda Baldeh

The dream of a young Gambian, Pa Ousman Kujabi, has come true as he pursued it over a distance of approximately 4,824.25 km, from his humble village of Makumbaya in The Gambia’s West Coast Region to Baden-Wurttemberg in Germany. He has achieved the remarkable feat of becoming the first Gambian immigrant to serve in the German army.

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Jarjue shared his incredible journey from enduring abuse to becoming a successful migrant in an exclusive interview with SeedyShow in Germany. Born in Makumbaya village, Mr. Kujabi began his irregular migration journey after completing high school and arriving in Italy on 6th April 2015.

Now a military officer in Germany, he left The Gambia with less than fifteen thousand dalasi in search of greener pastures to change his home situation. Despite enduring challenges and sustaining a serious injury on his journey, he has persevered and overcome every obstacle.

“When I arrived in Libya, I had no money and my father’s land was sold. It was on Friday evening we arrived at the seaside to cross, and we were rescued on Monday 6th April 2015… I can’t tell how I entered the boat because I was unconscious,” he recalled.

He recounted that he was urgently taken to an Italian hospital, where he underwent treatment for more than two months.

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He characterized the ordeal as harrowing, yet affirmed that the endeavor was justified by his aspiration to reach Europe, where he anticipated a more promising life.

Upon arrival in Italy, like many migrants, the young man named Kujabi found himself in a refugee camp housing over seven thousand others. However, he was persuaded by fellow Gambians to relocate to Germany.

He expressed gratitude towards some of his Gambian compatriots, particularly a Sarahule man who provided support while he was grappling with severe injuries.

“My friend helped to arrange a car for me to leave Italy for Germany. I went to a forest where the driver picked me up and smuggled me to Switzerland where I spent a month and then moved to Germany,” he narrated.

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While in Germany, Kujabi found life as a refugee challenging, yet he chased his dreams and eventually reintegrated into society.

He mentioned residing in a small, remote German town named Lörrach in August 2015, which is roughly a 15 to 20-minute drive from Switzerland.

Upon his arrival in Germany, Kujabi started his training as a military officer and was honoured with the title of ‘Recruit of the Intake’ upon completion of his training.

“I was awarded the Recruit of the Intake, and I received an edifice badge which is given to individuals who completed special tasks,” he revealed.

Kujabi’s transformative journey is characterized by immense sacrifices, unwavering dedication, and resilience, making him a beacon of inspiration for many Gambians in Germany.

He addressed the harrowing challenges, such as deportation, that Gambians face and urged his compatriots to persevere.

“It’s not easy to see people being deported after all the sacrifices they had made…it’s not good,” he said.

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